Seven reasons you should look for work experience with small employers

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:24

Small team

Don’t limit your options by only looking for opportunities at large companies, there are plenty of small and medium companies in many different sectors.

Small and medium size companies, also known as SME’s, will often advertise their openings online and via your college careers services. You might need to apply by emailing a CV and covering letter directly to the company. If a company that interests you isn’t advertising a work experience opportunity, you can make a speculative application .

Smaller companies are likely to attract fewer applicants which betters your chances of gaining an internship.

Why should I do work experience in a small business?

1. You can make a bigger impact

In small organisations, processes tend to be shorter and more visible. This means you can see the effect of your work more quickly.

2. Your work can impress graduate recruiters

In many smaller companies, placements are project based. Working on projects means you can take ownership of a task from start to finish which is impressive on graduate job applications. Projects allow you to be closely involved in the company’s business process and gain insight into how they operate.

3. You can get responsibility early on

Taking ownership of a task and seeing it through helps you develop leadership skills and tests your initiative. It is also evidence of good time-management and organisational skills as well as the ability to work in a team.

4. Your contribution will be highly valued

Students can be a valuable resource to small businesses as a spare pair of hands can help with pending tasks that no-one else has time for. These can include very important tasks such as competitor analysis, market research and marketing. A student can often offer innovative ideas to these business areas.

5. There’s a chance you’ll be asked back

A good proportion of small and medium enterprises may offer students work after they complete their placement. This can range from one-off projects to full-time jobs after graduation.

6. Your placement can be tailored to you

Small organisations, especially those that do not have a formal internship programme can be more flexible with the experience they offer you. This means that the company is more likely to be able to offer you opportunities that reflect your interests.

7. It’s a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs

A placement with a small or medium-sized enterprise is a great way for budding entrepreneurs to learn how a business is run. You might have the opportunity to work with higher-ups in the business and get further insights into business management or even directly with the founder and find out how the business was set-up.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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